Harrison on Fossella’s Arrest

Unlike Councilman Domenic Recchia, Democrat Stephen Harrison isn’t hesitating to talk about the arrest of Republican Congressman Vito Fossella..

“I would like to have this race decided by the issues, like the war, health care, the economy, jobs, things of that nature–all of which are important. But now we’re involved in this very personal distraction,” said Harrison, who is competing with Recchia for the Democratic nomination to challenge Fossella.

Harrison seemed to indicate he may make the incident an issue, telling me, “It clearly is going to speak to character and decision-making.”

The candidate, a Brooklyn lawyer, added that he doesn’t think Fossella has said enough about what happened. The remarks Fossella did make, Harrison thinks, “were very carefully couched. He apologized, but [the words] don’t indicate what they’re apologizing for.”

On a related note, another reporter and I were speculating that the state Democratic Party would eventually more forcefully publicize Fossella’s arrest. Remember that the state party played an effective attacking role in 2006 midterm elections here, helping Democrats pick up three seats previously held by Republicans. But the party may refrain from making much noise about Fossella’s D.U.I. arrest, since a number of Democratic lawmakers have had the same problem in the relatively recent past: Karim Camara, John Sabini and Adam Clayton Powell IV.

Harrison on Fossella’s Arrest